The Batesville Redevelopment Commission discussed the city’s two Tax Increment Financing areas March 26. One contains 455 acres that are north, south and east of I-74, including the downtown area. The other consists of the 73-acre new and vacant industrial park near Merkel Road and I-74.
Why do city leaders favor the TIF process? It is a way to generate more funding. An economic development area is defined, then an allocation area equal to or less than and within the original space. The base assessed value for property taxes is frozen. As development comes, the increase from the base to the new assessed value is determined. Those extra taxes that are spun off go to pay for infrastructure development in that area for the number of years designated. After the time period for the TIF district expires (25 years or less from the time debt, such as a bond, is issued), the original taxing units share the additional taxes.
Mayor Rick Fledderman pointed out the industrial park land “is actually owned by the redevelopment commission. There currently is no money in that TIF fund. Nothing has been built on the property so the time frame hasn’t started yet.”
He admitted the almost full Batesville Commerce Center on Lammers Pike never was defined within a TIF district, but a TIF area could be expanded to include it in the future.
BRC President Andy Saner noted, “By maintaining two separate TIF districts, we can’t take money from one and use it in the other … unless it’s for the greater good,” such as a fire department expansion. He pointed out, “There’s no great way to connect the two” TIF districts.
Saner said that as TIF dollars grow, he is counting on consultants at Administrative Resources association, Columbus, which is under contract to the city, to provide guidance about how to best use those funds.